Sunday, June 24, 2007

Net Etiquette

I read a number of blogs and comment on quite a few of them. I am appreciative of the those authors who respond to my comments.

There are blogs where the author does not respond to comments and I have to wonder why when I only see a few comments as to what causes that. Is it because they don't respond to comments that few people leave them or is the author writing in such a way that comments aren't needed or is the reader feeling they can't leave a worthwhile comment so they don't.

For my blog I appreciate any reader that took the time and effort to leave a comment of any kind other than outright spam or self-promotion. I respond to all my comments and expect to continue to do that and wonder would there be a point where the number of comments is so large that I would stop. I like to think not but I also at this point don't have the volume where it is yet a time issue.

The other issue with net etiquette is email. When you send an email and don't get any kind of acknowledgement do you get upset? Do you respond to emails from readers? Should you respond to emails from readers? Does volume matter?

I would be interested in your thoughts.

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35 conversations:

pearl said...

Hi Peter
I try my best to respond to all comments but I didn't have the recent comments installed on my blogspot blog and haven't found the time to install one on the new blog so it is possible if someone comments one of the older posts, I didn't notice and may be that happens with a lot of people - I also do not have the volume so its easier write a few replies...

But in general I believe it shows the author's willingness to get to know the readers. I have heard that problogger does respond to emails and he has more than 25,000 subscribers and probably many more readers! He doesn't and probably cannot respond to each comment but i have seen him write a few here and there just to show he is participating in the conversation..

Peter Haslam said...

Thank you for the addition Pearl and I know you reply to my comments

Empress Bee (of the High Sea) said...

sigh... this has been asked before by another friend of mine, mo. my thought is this, i don't comment on comments but rather usually go to their blog and comment there on their post. i visit so many blogs that i have to go back twice if i am to see the author's comment back to me. there are three that i visit that do this, yours is one. i usually come back to see if you commented back the next day on the next post. the other two i do the same. my other choice to do it your way, and i do understand some think the right way, would be to cut my link visits by more than half. in other words lose more than half my reads. see the links on my sidebar are only a few of who i visit, i use google reader for the rest. and i am thinking of moving all the links there and taking links down altogether. it has caused hard feelings sometimes. i try to visit all links daily or twice daily. readers make it so much less time consuming. but back to your original question, i doubt i will change any time soon. if you or anyone think i am being rude it is not my intent at all.

smiles, bee

Peter Haslam said...

No I don't think that is rude Bee just trying to get a feel for what people are doing so that I can respond in the best way possible for my readers. Thanks for your addition Bee because I think that is a growing trend to use Google or other reader.

Wonder said...

Hey Peter, very interesting post.
You mention why sometimes people don't leave comments. I think sometimes it's a matter of time, we don't always have the time to write as much as we'd like to, though right now I do have a lot of time in my hands and love both to leave comments and get them (as well as answering each one of them ;)).
I've noticed some of my posts get more comments than others, specially those related to more "personal" stuff like memes. Also, my book reviews get more comments than my cartoons or comics ones at the moment, but I like to keep writing about what I'm passionate about because I think some people that like the same stuff I do will come across those posts someday. It's happened with my articles on videogames, that started getting more attention. So I think it's very important to blog about stuff people may be interested in but not to leave things we like to write about aside just because they don't get any comments.
About answering them, as I said, right now my blog is a bit new and I have just a few regular visitors who comment from now and then and I can answer each one, but as you say, it'd probably be very difficult with much more comments. However, it's still important. As Random Magus said on her interview I read today on "Woman: God's Masterpiece", posts are like a monologue and comments are a dialogue with our readers.
Sorry for the long comment, hope you didn't get bored XD.
Take care,
W.

Peter Haslam said...

No I wasn't bored wonder. A very interesting answer about time. Could be trying to keep up with a lot of blogs like you and Bee mentioned will lead to reduced comments. thanks for the addition.

Jennifer said...

Bee - Check out CoComment . It will allow you to track your comments without going back all the time. I love it...you may or may not, but it is worth the check out.

I agree...I try to always reply to comments. I do so right on my site though and don't generally e-mail them back to people. They are e-mailed though if people stay subscribed to the comments which is checked by default.

Christina G said...

I think responding to people's comments increases the chances that they'll become a loyal reader and continue commenting. Some people feel ignored if you don't respond to their comments, and as my blog has maybe a dozen or so regular commenters, it's no problem for me to respond to them all.

As for emails, I usually respond to them, but sometimes they are difficult to respond to and I'm not sure what to say to the person (some just get WAY too personal or expect too much from me, a perfect stranger). Also, if the person is rude, impolite, or seems unaware of social graces, I usually don't respond.

How would you handle an email from someone who felt they knew you just because they've read your blog?

Random Magus said...

Hi. I too go on that person's blog and comment plus I try to reply as well but sometimes on the old posts I don't know if someone's made a recent comment I try to check my old ones. Is there a widget that tells you of a new comment made on your blog? And if so how can I get it?
As far as emails are concerned, my email wasn't on my profile and I just added it.
I love to get to know people and comments are the best way to do it...

paisley said...

well i am certainly guilty of a lack of comment response.. i dont want to feel obligated to respond to every comment, but if i feel a desperate need to respond, i do... i have pondered the etiquette involved here,, and realized, i would rather be genuine, than obligated...likewise, i do not feel obligated to post a comment,, but when i feel one is in order, or it brings something of merit to my mind.. i do so...i try to inculcate as few rules into everything as possible...

Peter Haslam said...

Hi Paisley you raise an interesting question of replying only to those that extend he conversation. I will need to think on that. Thanks

Peter Haslam said...

Christina G like you I break it into personal and general. No proble with general. Personal would depend if I know the blog and we have been commenting back and forth then I might if appropriate respond or tell them i prefer to not respond. If no realationship then a response telling not at this time.

Peter Haslam said...

Hi Random Magus Jennifer in comments has indicated Cocomments to check out. I just have email notification at this point but I think I will check out Cocomments

Camille said...

Hi Peter,

My opinion on comments is that if you read a post that inspires you to comment then do it. If it doesn't inspire you to comment then don't. Obligatory commenting isn't really necessary, do you think? People are often busy and shouldn't feel that they HAVE to comment. I try to reply to all my comments especially new visitors to the site. But maybe it's not possible to please everyone all the time? There are so many different ways I've found that people respond to comments. It confused me a lot when I first started blogging, but now it seems to make more sense. Some bloggers like to respond to comments on their site by visiting the the commenter's blog and answering there. Some will respond on their own blog. I do a little of both. Which ever seems appropriate at the time.
When I leave a comment it sometimes is not meant to have an answer. In that case it's just a comment and not a conversation. Sometimes I ask a question in the comment. It really can vary. If I'm really hoping to find a reply to a comment I've left, I will check back to the blog I left it on.
Geez, sorry about the incoherency of this comment. There seems to be so much to think about with this subject!
Thoughtful topic Peter.
Camille

Peter Haslam said...

I agree Camille there does seem to be a number of different responses which indicate that if we are not getting responses all the time we shouldn't worry to much and do what we deem to be appropriate. Thanks Camille

enelrae said...

Peter, I enjoy reading your blog. I used the read the "Daily Word" and it gave me something to think about everyday. Your blog does that for me now. Keep up the good work.

I am a new blogger and do not get any comments. How to accomplish that? When I find out, I will respond to all. Thanks

Michael said...

It looks to me that it has to do with popularity vs. time management.

The more successful a blogger is = fewer responses.

Elizabeth said...

Hi, I am fairly new to blogging and I don't get many comments. I seem to elicit personal emails instead which can be long and involved and to which I do respond in kind. It may be because my posts stimulate deeper considerations that readers don't want share publicly.
In any case, after reading all these comments and responses, I will start making the effort to respond to comments!
Nice site and I will stop by Bloggers Choice Award to leave you a vote (I have been nominated too for the educational award).
a presto, E

Comedy + said...

I try to respond to all comments, but sometimes it doesn't work well. On Monday's and Wednesday's I do memes. Some weeks I have 50 to 80 comments. This really is hard to do since I am busy commenting on everyone else's posts. So, I fail here most of the time.

I don't think it is proper not to respond though. It shows you care about what the other person said. Great post on getting me to be better at responding...even those large MM or WW memes. Thanks...:)

Peter Haslam said...

That is a good point Michael

Peter Haslam said...

Thanks Enelrae for joining the conversation and I am sure comments will come

Peter Haslam said...

Hi Elizabeth good to have you join in will be by to read your blog :)

Peter Haslam said...

Thanks for your addition Sandee as always well thought out

jcfloresinc said...

Hi Peter, your post made me think. I try to respond to all who leave a comment, but then I'm fairly new, not even 90 days yet. And I respond sometimes by answering something they said or asked on my blog or just visit and respond to their blog. I've been to blogs that have a hundred or more responses and I wonder how they answer them all. I wonder if having a lot of comments means your good or popular. I wonder a lot of things. Should I bookmark every blog post separately, I noticed that you do.
Thanks for stopping by. I need to put your blog where I can go and seek some of the answers I'm looking for. Thanks for reading my rantings. Samantha & Tigger's Mom

Peter Haslam said...

Hi jcfloresinc I put my bookmark by post for those who have bookmarking services. I think I have had 3 posts saved by readers. It is just there in case they want to do it. Probably will be worthwhile later on we will see. Cleo is glad tigger and Samantha are visiting :)

Laura said...

I do try to respond to e-mails and comments. I view my blog as a community and my commentators as visitors with me as the host.

Actually, I posted on this very topic a few weeks ago. To me, it's a negative if the blogger won't ever acknowledge comments, especially on recent posts.

Peter Haslam said...

Hi Laura I would like to read your post if you would leave the link please

Internet Safety Queen said...

Hi Peter!!

Great post.

As someone who has only been blogging for 3 months, one of the most interesting & fun aspects of blogging, is the comments. I LOVE THEM!! Even the ones that get me all stirred up. I LOVE LOVE LOVE THEM!

Afterall, blogs are supposed to be interactive, right?

I also try to respond to every single comment on my blog, even the older ones.

I know when I leave a comment on someone elses blog, I want to know if the author has indeed left a comment to my comment(did that make sense?). If someone drops by my site, takes a moment to comment, then they, in my opinion, deserve a response.

When I visit other sites, I normally do not comment until I have checked out the site numerous times OR something that is said, beg's me to comment.

Many people leave little comments for me on MBL. I would much prefer those comments being left on my site.

I dont know about you guys, but when I visit a site, one of the very first thing I look at, is the number of comments they have gotten. Pathetic of me, isnt it?? :)

Comments are paramount, in my book!

Peter Haslam said...

Thank you for adding to the conversation internet Safety Queen I also check back to see if I get a response and if not I may even pull it from my reader if it happens more than once. Comments are key

William Tully said...

Seth Godin doesn't respond to comments... Granted you can't actually leave a comment, but hey, read into that what you want. ;)

The biggest challenge is when people leaving a comment don't leave anything to respond to! "Hey great blog" doesn't leave a lot of room for anything other than that.

If someone decides to leave an ENGAGING comment then there is something to work with. If a dead end comment is posted, then all they get is comment recognition.

I refuse to use 'canned' responses for canned comments. Ask a question, or at least contribute and I will always respond.

Too cold a position?

Peter Haslam said...

No William that makes a lot of sense to me. Answer those who are contributing to the conversation. I like that

Digital Nomad said...

William's idea is good. Also, I tend not to read blogs I cannot comment on...don't care who it is.

Peter Haslam said...

I agree with that one Digital Nomad

Ed said...

Comments are a tricky one. As one person said, commnents sort of indicate a blogs popularity. The number of comments skyrocketed on my blog (compared to the zero I was getting) and I do try to respond and keep the conversation going. However, the format of my blog allows me easily do shout outs and refer to blogs I visit, so if I cant think of anything to say directly about a post, I will try to do my "bit for the community" with a proper post and post links from my site to theirs - which in some ways is much more valuable to a blogger than an inane comments!

I dont know if everyone appreciates that tactic, as only Technorati really proves that I am acknowleding other blogs, and not everyone checks out their Technorati status.

I do like receiving comments, yours are cool, and I will continue to answer, and will try to leave comments on my buddies blogs too, but if I dont leave something every day, dont despair, I am still thinking about you.

Peter Haslam said...

Thanks Ed for your addition and I also use my blog drive-byes for doing the same. You are right not everyone checks.